The European Central Bank is not about to remove the crisis measures it is employing to help the ailing euro zone economy, the central bank's chief said on Wednesday.
"Our monetary policy remains accommodative," ECB President Mario Draghi said in the question-and-answer session after a speech at the Catholic Academy of Bavaria.
"We are far from having an exit in mind."
Draghi said, however, that the central bank's balance sheet, which has already come down from highs above 3 trillion euros, could see "a natural shrinking" as banks pay back funds they do not need, and added that the ECB has plenty of instruments to rein in liquidity when needed.
Draghi also said that the common currency bloc's economy is recovering only very slowly and that the central bank expects next year's inflation to come "significantly" below 2 percent.
The ECB targets inflation of below, but close to 2 percent.
Draghi said the policy differences between the ECB and the German Bundesbank were not that big and are being overplayed.
(Reporting by Sakari Suoninen and Jens Hack)